India and Bhutan on Friday held talks on bilateral development cooperation and reviewed New Delhi’s execution of various projects in the Himalayan nation.
The second annual India-Bhutan development cooperation talks were held here. The Indian delegation was led by TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and the delegation from Bhutan was led by Kinga Singye, Foreign Secretary of Bhutan, according to an MEA statement.
The Indian Ambassador in Thimphu Ruchira Kamboj also attended the talks.
Both sides recalled the successful and productive visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bhutan in August this year with several significant outcomes which included the inauguration of Mangdechu HEP and Ground Earth Station for South Asia Satellite and launch of RuPay card in Bhutan.
“They also recalled the very successful visit to India of Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr Lotay Tshering in December 2018 and in May 2019 for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Foreign Minister of Bhutan, Dr Tandi Dorji also visited India from 17-23 November 2019 and held talks with the External Affairs Minister of India,” the statement said.
The annual development cooperation talks is an important bilateral mechanism to review the entire gamut of India’s development partnership with Bhutan.
“Government of India has committed assistance of Rs. 4,500 crores for implementation of development projects and Rs. 400 crores for transitional trade support facility during Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018 – 2023). 51 large and intermediate projects and 359 Small Development Projects (SDPs)/High Impact Community Development Projects (HICPDs) are at various stages of implementation under the 12th Five Year Plan,” the statement said.
With Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023) entering its second year, the two sides reviewed and expressed satisfaction at the overall progress of the ongoing Project Tied Assistance (PTA) projects, as well as the SDPs/HICDPs. Bhutanese Foreign Secretary commended India’s role in the socio-economic transformation of Bhutan and also highlighted the impact of HICDPs at the grassroots level. During the talks, both sides also agreed to implement 21 new PTA projects, in addition to 51 ongoing ones.
“India deeply values its privileged partnership with Bhutan. The Indian side is committed to continuing support to Bhutan in its development efforts,” it said.
The two sides agreed to hold the next development cooperation talks in 2020 in Thimphu on a mutually agreed date.
The talks were held in a friendly atmosphere, keeping with the close and friendly ties between the two countries, the statement said.